Holden Cup player of the year Kane Elgey gets his first chance to press for an NRL start at the Auckland Nines this weekend.

Taylor's tackling bag ready for NRL

It was his talent with the ball in hand that was the main driver behind Kane Elgey's elevation as 2014 Holden Cup Player of the Year but Titans teammate Dave Taylor believes it is Elgey's work in defence that proves he is NRL ready.

Elgey was a late inclusion in the Titans' squad on Tuesday for this weekend's Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines after utility Davin Crampton was ruled out with a shoulder injury.

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It will represent the Tugun junior's first foray in the top grade but after lining up against him at training all pre-season, Taylor believes it won't be the last time in 2015 he is mixing in NRL company.

Taylor and Beau Falloon helped to launch the Gold Coast Junior Rugby League Sign-On Carnival at Cbus Super Stadium on February 7 and Taylor says the emergence of young players at the Titans is putting plenty of pressure on senior players in each and every position.

"Every spot in the team is up for grabs, I don't think there's one spot that's safe," Taylor said. "Blokes like Elgey and players like that coming through, there is a lot more confidence than when we were younger. I don't think I spoke for the first year I was under Wayne [Bennett at the Broncos] and it was a very daunting task.

"The young fellas coming through these days have got so much confidence and belief in themselves that they're doing freakish stuff and Elgey is one of them."

Elgey, James Roberts, Keirran Moseley and Christian Hazard are all 21 years or younger and will be presenting the Titans this weekend in Auckland.

Roberts and Moseley have both had tastes of playing in the NRL and Taylor said that the experience of playing in the Nines will help Elgey to reach his goal sooner rather than later.

"He'll love [the Nines] and I think he'll come out of this with a lot more confidence than what he's already got and that will be massive for him," said Taylor.

"He's one that I believe is going to be playing first grade... I reckon he'll get his crack this year the way he's been training. His defence is outstanding. I mark up on him most days so he's got to tackle me every day and he's had a fair bit of practise."

Elgey and Jamal Fogarty sit behind first-choice halves Aidan Sezer and Daniel Mortimer ahead of the Titans' Round 1 showdown with the Wests Tigers on March 7 but have been encouraged to make their presence felt in training sessions under new coach Neil Henry.

Injuries to Sezer and Albert Kelly decimated the Titans' season in 2014 and Henry is doing everything he can make sure that back-up is in place should either of his halves go down again this season.

"They're halves so 'King' (Henry) has told them that if they want to be in the team they need to be in good form and leading the boys around so they're definitely doing that and they're going really well at training," said Beau Falloon.

With a squad boasting speed to burn in Will Zillman, David Mead, James Roberts, Josh Hoffman and Brad Tighe, the Titans are capable of doing some damage in Auckland but face a tough assignment first up on Saturday against the Warriors.

Games against the Wests Tigers and Canberra will follow for the Titans but it is their first-up assignment in front of a rabid Kiwi crowd that has Taylor on edge.

"It should be a fun little weekend, I just hope my aerobic fitness is up to scratch for it," said Taylor. "There's a fair bit of running around and having the Warriors up first with [Shaun] Johnson, I wouldn't like to get him one-on-one.

"He's got incredible footwork and that's what Nines is all about. It's a very fast and up-tempo game and I think we've got a cracking side to compete and hopefully we can go out and give it our best."

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